In the Beginning: How Arrayed Got Started
The turn of the new year invites reflections on the past and new directions for the future, and that's certainly true as a business owner. Arrayed has evolved in so many ways over the years and I've been reflecting on how my calling has been midwifed by the Holy Spirit over time to bring Arrayed into existence. I wanted to share a little bit of that journey with you here.
In the summer of 2013, I learned to sew. I had just gotten out of a 6-year relationship that left me reeling from the effects of my partner’s abuse, untreated mental illness, and self-harm. I had inherited my grandmother’s sewing machine and after diving into a few blog tutorials, I quickly became obsessed. Sewing gave me a creative outlet for prayer, restoration, and self-discovery and has been a channel for God’s healing in my journey.
At the same time, I learned about the harsh realities of garment workers around the world, the majority of whom are women of color. Right as I started sewing, the fashion industry experienced the largest industrial disaster in its history when an 8-story garment manufacturing building collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing over 1,100 people with nearly 2,600 injured. This entirely preventable tragedy known as the Rana Plaza disaster launched a global movement for transparency and reform, and I found myself wanting to be part of the fight for basic human rights and environmental justice.
I began to wonder: How is it that I’m so disconnected from how my clothing is made, who is making it, and how do their experiences connect to my faith? What’s the real cost of my clothing, and who’s paying it? How could I, as a Christian, be truly clothed in the righteousness of Christ if my actual clothing consumption and care contributes to the degradation of the earth and the oppression of marginalized communities?
In response to these questions, I founded Arrayed. Arrayed is a liberative people-first, planet-focused Christian apparel brand that aims to align the call for justice and wholistic flourishing we find in Jesus’ life with the messages on and production of Christian t-shirts. The Christian apparel industry is a $4.5 billion industry annually, yet many of the current options don’t offer progressive theological messaging or transparency about their production process. Progressive Christians deserve to be visible in the broader Christian landscape. Workers deserve human-centered workplaces and to be treated with dignity and respect, paid living wages, focused on creation justice, and free from intimidation and gender discrimination.
I'm passionate about aligning my morals with my material practices and ensuring that garment making can be a path towards personal and communal flourishing rather than a dangerous and hazardous profession. My hope is that Arrayed can offer a path for you to do that too. Together, we can restore and renew this industry and wear our faith from the inside out, one t-shirt at a time. Thank you for your company and commitment on this journey.